FICA: A hefty price to pay for non-compliance

In our previous article, we took cognizance of the meaning of all the acronyms regarding FICA and what it entails for Motor Vehicle Dealers (MVDs).

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The new dispensation regarding MVDs going from Reporting Institutions to Accountable Institutions as regulated through the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) by the Financial Intelligence Centre Act (FICA) is serious and can have a major impact, with severe penalties, on MVDs if handled incorrectly.

The Financial Intelligence Centre Amendment Act 1 of 2017 (FICA) is worlds away from a simple add-on to your existing business procedures as it requires well-thought-out documented processes and procedures to a risk-based approach.

To become, and remain, FICA compliant, Accountable Institutions (AIs) should build the FIC Act into their company’s strategy as well as normal business routine to avoid non-compliance.

The penalties for non-compliance vary depending on the severity of the offence but can range from a public reprimand to a financial penalty or even jail time. This does not apply only to the company itself but could also apply to the executives or owners of a business as well as employees or individuals involved in dealings with a specific client, transaction or activity.

Let’s take a closer look at the cost of non-compliance…

The Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) specifically states that non-compliance with the FIC Act could lead to:

• A public reprimand.

• A remediation directive.

• The restriction or suspension of certain business activities.

• Financial penalty of up to R10 million for a natural person or up to R50 million for a legal person.

• For more serious offences, the maximum penalty increases to imprisonment for a period of up to 15 years or a fine of up to R100 million.

During the 2022/2023 financial year, a total of 946 compliance inspections were conducted. The

supervisory bodies issued 544 inspection reports, while the FIC issued 402 inspection reports. Most of the inspections conducted by the FIC during 2022/2023, were on sectors rated as high risk and on institutions that were previously inspected during the 2020/2021 and 2021/2022 financial years.

With DocFox as your FICA compliance partner, fulfilling your FICA requirements is simple and gives you peace of mind to confidently face a FIC inspection. Whether you need assistance in getting compliant fast or if you’re just not sure where to start, we can assist.

To get on top of new requirements – and avoid the cost of non-compliance – it might be a good idea to download the FICA Handbook at: https://share-eu1.hsforms.com/1ugenE_sDRZ-pOdRV-FiIbAetu2j

In the FICA Handbook, compiled by Docfox, a concise summary is given of various aspects regarding FICA and the complete process MVDs will have to adhere to.

The table of contents includes the key elements each and every MVD should know:

• What is FICA?

• The key obligations in terms of FICA.

• From rules to risk.

• Education, training and awareness.

• Summary.

• Frequently asked questions.

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